#Festive500 Day 1 Ride

Am writing up day #1 from the comfort of the sofa on Christmas Day whilst checking weather and route for tomorrows leg.  Truth be told I learned a fair bit yesterday on the bike; some things good, some things not so good.

One thing I confirmed was that I am definitely not as fit as I was a year ago, something I definitely need to work on this coming year; even with potentially loads of business travel.

I spent half the night listening to the wind outside and waking up in advance of the alarm going off. When finally the alarm did go off the wind indeed died down as predicted, but the rain had set in. A quick turnaround and I was ready to go; first mistake was not putting on neoprene gloves, instead I had opted for some winter windstoppers. I felt reasonably good heading south, knowing that I would have the wind behind me on the way home.

Heading out early - still not awake by the looks of it.
Heading out early (the eyes say it all).

Merino base layers include a grow-your-own-merino face mask specially for this time of year.

With no snow, ice and a base temperature around 9ºC I was feeling pretty confident about the ride, however that changed after about an hour and a half when, with soaking gloves I need to grab a gel.  For the life of me a couldn’t get under the rain jacket and so took off the gloves … big mistake; they were so wet that for the life of me I could not get them back on.  At this point I was near to just calling the wife and just throwing the towel in.  I grabbed the gel and with the rain slowing wondered how my hands would get on without gloves at all; as it turns out they managed ok-ish.  Watching me trying to get a gel out of a back pocket from under the rain jacket would of been hilarious (thanks to the bloke who retrieved one for me as he was leaving for work in Fettercairn), however one thing I did learn was that even with a temperature range of 3-5ºC (recorded on the Garmin) my hands managed without any major discomfort.  The difficulty in getting anything from my back pockets however did discourage me from stopping to mess around and eventually led to a slow last half hour.  Photos were also an issue so it wasn’t until I was just south of Stonehaven and getting near to Dunotter Castle.

Heading North towards Stonehaven.
Heading North towards Stonehaven.

Managed to get back slightly over the predicted time but still happy.  Please I put the narrower wheels back on, along with the fenders.  Hands are much more resilient than you think.  Somewhat envious of those in the southern hemisphere who get to do this challenge during the summer season.  Strava ride details below:

Anyway, planning for tomorrows foray, that is likely to be in torrential rain with snow on the high ground; think I will give Cairn O’Mount a miss and stick closer to home and do a few laps of the training route.

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